The aesthetic of a book is something I particularly enjoy, I regularly break the silly rule of not judging a book by its cover; on many occasions I have bought a book simply because I liked the design or illustrations on the cover or between the pages. I am not in any way a fan of e-books, these digital versions merely give you the text of the book, thus robbing you of the tactile and visual pleasure of a physical tome in your hands. A well-made book has many pleasing aspects to it; there should be a fantastic eye-grabbing design/art on the cover and spine that suits the written material inside, then of course are the internal illustrations alongside the text that illuminate, expand and impress upon the text. The cover of the book can be either hardback or paperback, both have merits but it cannot be denied that a hardback is more pleasing to the touch of your fingers with its good weight, solid feel, smooth dust-cover and that nice ‘creak’ as it opens.
What I want to focus upon in a new series of posts is the art of books, whether it be the design of the front cover or the illustrations in-between the pages, I would like to show a selection of great examples which reveal the versatility, ingenuity and talent of artists/designers when it comes to illustrating books. I take great delight in the beauty and symmetry of a physical, solid publication so I own a fair few – these will be biased towards my literary interests obviously but I hope they will encourage you to appreciate a good-looking book rather than buying an e-reader (which are only justifiable to read mass-produced pulp-fiction on).
I will not be reviewing the books themselves, simply showing you my favourite styles of illustration and focusing on a couple of my favourite illustrators such as C.F. Tunnicliffe or Arthur Rackham (whom have a wide appeal so I am sure I am not alone in liking them). I have previously done a few posts of a similar ilk, such as a gallery of Tom Adams covers and my descriptive piece of fiction that explains what it means to be a book-lover. The first ‘Book Art’ post will be posted shortly so stay tuned, if you want to make any suggestions or tell me what your favourite books are (based on the illustrations alone) then please do comment below or contact me via one of the links on my new ‘Contacts’ page. Have a great day everyone!